Woz­ni­acki beats Mlade­n­ovic in HK

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

FOR­MER world No. 1 Caro­line Woz­ni­acki beat un­seeded French chal­lenger Kristina Mlade­n­ovic to take the Hong Kong Open yes­ter­day af­ter a bat­tle of wills that lasted al­most three hours. Woz­ni­acki seeded fifth in the com­pe­ti­tion, stormed the first set 6-1 with Mlade­n­ovic vis­i­bly de­spon­dent and limp­ing slightly.

The 23-year-old French­woman emerged in the sec­ond set with her right leg ban­daged and with a re­newed fo­cus, forc­ing Woz­ni­acki to dive around the court with a com­bi­na­tion of drop shots and pow­er­ful drives.

The set went to 6-6, with Mlade­n­ovic seal­ing the tie-break 7-4 to go even. Dressed all in green, a de­ter­mined Woz­ni­acki, 26, fi­nally sealed vic­tory in the third set. A tired Mlade­n­ovic was ul­ti­mately un­able to match the Dane’s power and con­sis­tency.

Fre­quently bend­ing to lean on her rac­quet be­tween points, the French­woman was in tears as she des­per­ately tried to fight back af­ter Woz­ni­acki took a 5-0 lead. Woz­ni­acki even­tu­ally took the fi­nal set 6-2.

“I’m re­ally pleased with my week this week -- there was some good ten­nis and long bat­tles,” Woz­ni­acki told re­porters.

“It wasn’t easy men­tally be­cause some­times she would look like she couldn’t play, and then she would run like Speedy Gon­za­lez -- clearly it’s not that bad if you can run side to side. There was def­i­nitely a men­tal game. I just hap­pened to win it,” she said. – AFP

AFPPIX

Caro­line Woz­ni­acki hits a re­turn against France’s Kristina Mlade­n­ovic dur­ing their women’s fi­nal match at the Hong Kong Open yes­ter­day. –

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